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Mural promotes waterfront for Oak Ridge community

Dedication Friday afternoon
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 7:03 PM EST
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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The Oak Ridge community plans to dedicate a new mural Friday afternoon at Melton Lake Park, after two months of drawing and painting by artist Megan Lingerfelt. The 14-foot-high display sleekly spells out the city’s name while incorporating scenes from the Melton Lake waterfront.

This area is not only popular with locals for walking, boating and fishing. It attracts world class competitors for rowing regattas. The Oak Ridge Rowing Association is using the prominent side of its boathouse as the canvas for the mural.

Explore Oak Ridge provided a grant to help fund the project. The city of Oak Ridge also contributed to repainting the rest of the boathouse navy blue that coordinates with new ORRA signage.

City Council Member Jim Dodson, who is also the art teacher who discovered Lingerfelt’s talent for this project, said, “We I think would like for this mural to be an icon that when people come down to visit and go to the regattas, they want to stand in front of that mural that actually says Oak Ridge.”

ORRA Board President Jim Rogers said there’s no question that the flat water of Melton Lake is popular with rowers near and far. “If you are a rower, selfishly you love the wonderful water conditions here on Melton Lake.”

Rogers said this slower year for events because of the pandemic has been a good year to refurbish the boathouse. He said several regattas are already planned for 2021. “We have seven on the schedule. Several of them are very high-caliber college competitions.”

Lingerfelt has been putting her finishing touches on the large mural an anticipation of the dedication. “Somewhere between 25 and 30 colors and now that I’m getting towards the end I’m adding highlights and mixing a new color here, a new color there.” The mural depicts the flight of geese who make their habitat around the lake, as well as a railroad bridge that spans the water. It includes various scenes of people enjoying boating and other activities on the waterfront.

“This would not have happened if Explore Oak Ridge had not had a vision that we need these icons in the city of Oak Ridge to get behind, rally behind,” said Dodson. “Hopefully this is gonna be the first of many murals that we’ll have in Oak Ridge.”

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